I was doing my regular morning reading the past week about juicing when I stumbled upon Darya Rose’s article in Summer Tomato “Juicing: Stupid Pretentious or Nourishing and Enlightening?” which struck a chord in me so I had to write something in response.
What bothers me is that there are a lot of misconceptions about juicing that would turn people off to a would-be beneficial practice, if done properly.
The reason why I turned to juicing is simple, I can’t eat huge amounts of vegetables and fruit every day to get the nutrients I need to flush out bad cholesterol because I easily get full. I also needed a way to consume raw veggies and juicing was a way for me to that.
How about smoothies?
I wouldn’t be able to drink a vegetable smoothie to be honest with you. I’m sure others have a different perspective and would prefer their smoothie over a juice because of the fiber. I respect that but to say that smoothies are better than juices, well, is a lie.
If you use a vertical juicer like the Omega VRT, some pulp can be had if you take the strainer off the juice catcher.
Where am I getting at?
All I’m saying is that juicing isn’t a fad. It’s been around for decades.
“Vegetables are good. But fads are bad. And there isn’t any real long-term data. We’ll just be quiet now.”
Yup it’s a no-brainer, vegetables are good. So what’s the difference between eating and juicing? Well, it all boils down to the fiber. Juice extraction removes fiber that is beneficial to our gut. BUT not everyone eats raw vegetables and the wrong cooking method kills phytochemicals that help prevent diseases such as cancer. So juicing gives people like me a way to consume vegetables we couldn’t otherwise eat raw.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat cooked vegetables because cooking releases more nutrients in certain vegetables like tomato.
Why do predominantly vegetable eating cultures like Japan have lower cancer rates? Their diet, sadly an average American consumes only 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and that falls short the 5 to 13 servings recommended by Harvard School of Public Health.
All I’m saying is that juicing provides a way to fill this void without overwhelming our digestive system with fiber that needs to be digested.
“There are many other unknowns as well, including the effects of juicing different kinds vegetables and fruits (can excessive kale juice really inhibit your thyroid?)”
All things are poison and nothing is without poison. It is the dose that makes a thing poisonous.
– Paracelsus, 16th century pharmacologist
Yes, consuming too much cruciferous vegetables can inhibit the thyroid gland. This is one mistake a lot of people make. The key here is to rotate vegetables you consume on a daily basis. It can’t be just broccoli or kale every single day, there should be variety in what you put inside the juicer. Again we should exercise these precautions when preparing juice.
“How do these things change if people are healthy, sick, underweight, or obese? Until these factors have been tested in controlled trials, any speculation on them is purely theoretical.”
I’ve read countless success stories that attributed their success to juicing. A lot of them were overweight bordering to obese. I bet you know Joe Cross – that guy from Fat,Sick and Nearly Dead.
There are also lesser known people like Neil Martin who lost over 70 pounds by changing his diet and juicing. Unfortunately, not every person who successfully conquered obesity can blog about it but folks like Joe Cross makes it possible for them through his reboot community.
It’s not all about weight loss…
…Ashley Brown, shares her father’s story on how he (with a lot help from his daughter) was able to overcome acute anemia, high blood pressure, damaged kidneys, liver issues plus an auto-immune lupus like disease by juicing. She’s even got pictures to record that journey every step of the way.
While these aren’t done in a “controlled environment”, they’re real testimonials made by real people who’ve documented what they’ve done and I don’t think any of this is theoretical unless you want to call them liars.
We know even less about subsisting exclusively on juice for various amount of time.
It’s not a secret that doing a fast (for any period of time) has these health benefits. The difference between a normal water fast and juice fast is type of drink you’ll take but it’s not all juice, experienced juice fasters say that drinking water is a key element of a successful fast.
There are a few people who document their extended juice fasts, like Israel Torres (the Proof is in the Juice) and of course Joe Cross. You can also find more and more people documenting their progress in Reddit’s juicing page.
Now, if you suffer from any condition that requires medication it would be best to seek advice from a doctor before doing any type of fast. And if you’ve gotten the green light then take time to learn how to do it right – how to prepare for a fast and how to break it.
Pregnant women SHOULD NOT fast.
“My beef with juice isn’t the taste or snobbery, but all the shopping, storage, and cleanup necessary to make juice at home.”
I agree that shopping for produce does take time but preparing juice does not. If you use a wide mouth centrifugal juicer or a horizontal auger juicer, you won’t need much pre-cutting which easily saves you 15-20 minutes tops. Only soak produce for 10-20 minutes then rinse thoroughly. Cleaning a juicer shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.
If you value your health, you need to invest effort, time and money that’s needed but for the long term, it is all worth it.
Before writing off juicing as a fad, take the time to investigate and read about people who’ve successfully regained their health not by juicing alone but also changing their eating habits to a healthier one. I don’t think you’d have the nerve to tell them to wait for “scientific evidence” in their face before trying this while they’re experiencing a health crisis that could lead to death.
Juicing is a vessel that allows people who are obese to cut down on solid food and people who are too weak to digest a lot of fiber to still get nutrients they need on a daily basis to counteract the side effects of medication. And for people like me who want to start living healthier lifestyles – it allows me to consume more vegetables and fruit without stuffing myself.
Of course there are risks but remember consuming too much of anything is always risky. Heck, even drinking too much water can kill you. All I’m saying is exercise due diligence.